What is Chiropractic Care and How Does it Help You?
Anytime! If you’re just feeling a little sluggish; if you have aches and pains; if you do not have that spring in your step that you used to have… all of those would be good reasons to see a chiropractor – in addition to traditional back and neck pain. We look at what we do as more of a way of life. It is a way of prevention that not only helps people with their symptoms; it helps to head off new and reoccurring problems. Even if you don’t feel you have an acute condition, you may have a hidden condition that, if left untreated, could cause acute problems down the road. With us it’s all about helping you live a long, happy, healthy and productive life. Not only can we help you heal from an injury or other obvious condition, we can help you feel better after that condition is fixed. And in cases where we can’t fix the problem, we will recommend someone who can.
Almost every insurance company covers chiropractic and for the most part covers it very well. It depends on the policy. Some policies cover the bare minimum and others provide more expanded coverage. Generally speaking, insurance offers adequate coverage for injury recovery and rehabilitation. We’re hopeful that as our society comes to understand how proactive, holistic treatment can reduce the overall cost of all healthcare, that insurance coverage for ongoing chiropractic care will be more widely covered.
The first step would be to ask your friends or co-workers if they’ve had experience with a local chiropractic clinic and if so, what was the result. How were they treated – not only from a healthcare standpoint – but from a personal standpoint? Was the staff friendly and courteous? Did they listen to and address your concerns? Were they respectful of your time? Then you should visit the clinic’s website and see if it’s consistent with what you’ve heard and what you’re looking for. Does the clinic have photos of the staff and video testimonials from happy patients? Then do a search for the clinic and the doctor to assess their online reputation. If everything checks out you should call the clinic and see how they handle your inquiry. Then make an appointment. Some clinics will offer some kind of low-or-no-cost initial consultation to see if they can really help you. Then ask to meet the doctor who will treat you. This is important because you and your chiropractor will have a true one-to-one relationship where you will be seeing each other regularly. You want to make sure your personalities are in sync.
What’s great about chiropractic is that chiropractic helps the body heal itself. We understand that the condition may have taken a long time to develop – decades in some cases. With dental braces, it can take years to move teeth a few millimeters. The rest of the body works the same way. It’s a tug of war of sorts – getting the muscles and ligaments to respond can take time. We have to retrain the body to function properly. When there’s an injury involved it can take more time because first we have to treat the injury. Then there’s a person’s lifestyle. Often we have to counsel patients about proper diet, nutrition and exercise. All these factors come into play. So it’s much more than treating one problem. Getting and staying healthy is a journey… a process. Think of us as proactive guides that take a holistic approach that we hope will lead to a lifetime of health and wellness.
We get this question a lot. Since chiropractic doesn’t involve drugs and the use of medication, we have to look at how people heal. We like the analogy of when people need braces for their teeth. The more the teeth are out of alignment, the longer it will take to straighten them. So it is with chiropractic care. The more the body is out alignment, the longer it may take to fix.
Many people associate a popping or cracking sound when a joint is adjusted. Why does that happen and what does it mean?
The simple explanation is that the pop sound occurs when gas is released from the joint. There is fluid in the joint and when it is manipulated it becomes a gas and makes it pop. It’s what happens during knuckle cracking. At first, you hear a pop. If you try again you don’t because the gas has dissipated. So the pop doesn’t mean a lot. There are techniques that do not create a pop and you don’t have to have a pop to feel better. In fact, often there is no pop even though the adjustment was successful. Ultimately it’s just a noise.
In addition to manual techniques there are instrument-assisted techniques, contraction techniques, and compression techniques. We also have a gentle technique and a soft tissue technique. The key is that if a patient doesn’t respond to one technique, we utilize other successful techniques until we get the desired result. We can also refer them to another chiropractor that uses a slightly different style if necessary. Over time, actual experience determines what will get the best results.
When we talk about techniques you have to understand that no two doctors think exactly alike. The chiropractic schools teach specific techniques that each doctor can use in different circumstances. The best doctors adapt and perfect those techniques based on who and what is being treated. Every patient is different and not every patient will receive a manual adjustment. There are different ways to work on a body.
Our goal is to help our patients understand that they can take charge of their health and wellness with our guidance. The doctor will then explain what’s happening and will recommend a treatment plan. And that all happens on the first day and typically the first visit will last 45 minutes to an hour.
This is also the time for initial questions about treatment options and financial considerations. Out patients tell us that one of the things they like is getting some one-on-one conversation with someone who actually cares, thinks, listens, gathers all the data, and then explains what we do. Once they develop a comfort level we bring them back to the doctor and the doctor will do a series of checkups to make sure that, number one, they are supposed to be here, and number two, can we help them. If so, the next step is taking x-rays (if needed). We find that x-rays often reveal what’s been happening to them over time and can be an eye-opening experience that often leads to a reevaluation of the patient’s lifestyle choices.
What makes us different is that every patient is assigned to a case manager… sort of like a medical concierge… who looks after them every step of the way. The case manager is the liaison between the patient and the doctor. The case manager gathers the patient’s history, learns about the patient’s problem and what – if anything – has been done about it already. The main skill we teach our case managers is to be good listeners. Often, in the course of the patient induction process, the patient will reveal other issues that need attention as well.
We understand that most people come to us because they are in pain or are experiencing discomfort, so we want them to feel at ease when they first arrive. We also know that people are busy and we want to help them understand that the time they spend with us on the first visit sets the stage for helping us treat them in the minimum time with maximum results on subsequent visits.
Some people don’t equate chiropractic with overall healthcare. We’re trying to change this. Our first task is to restore the body’s function back to where it’s supposed to be. But if you just treat the symptoms, that restoration will be less effective than if you also look for what caused the problem in the first place. For example, when a patient comes to us with a headache we know traditionally and medically they can take a headache medication. But we want to find out why does the body have a headache, why is the body suffering, and then we could trace it back. Once we find out what the cause is, we can treat it for longer-lasting results. A lot of people are struggling out there and are not getting answers to their problems and their conditions are not being fixed. We offer a different approach.
We are able to care for all ages and a variety of health conditions. We are most known for treating back pain, neck pain, headaches, and we are very well known for how well we adjust and manipulate the spine. There are a lot of issues that happen to the muscles, bones and joints just through everyday life. In addition, we also repair injuries from falls, slips, trips and car accidents. We can help restore function, range of motion, decrease pain, relieve pressure, and help the muscles.
Children are around 25% of our practice. The main reason they come to us is because their parents want them to learn how to take charge of their health and wellness early on. It’s like going to school to prepare you for later life. If there are problems, we can identify and treat them early on as well. It’s all about education and using gentle techniques to help them feel better so they can be happier and more productive.
While there’s always some degree of risk with any kind of treatment, chiropractic has been recognized as a safe, non-drug approach to musculoskeletal issues. If you compare malpractice insurance rates you’ll find that the average chiropractor’s annual malpractice insurance cost is about the same as the average family’s automobile insurance cost and is considerably less than what the average medical practice pays. This should tell you something.
A chiropractic examination is performed on a routine basis to determine the patient’s need for spinal adjustments. Analysis may include (but certainly is not limited to) two or more of the following procedures: instrumentation, chiropractic x-ray analysis, spinal static and motion palpation, postural analysis, leg-length comparison tests, muscle strength measures, and other chiropractic analysis procedures.
Chiropractic adjustment refers to a wide variety of specific manual interventions that may be high or low velocity; short or long lever; high or low amplitude; with or without recoil. Chiropractic adjustments are directed at specific anatomical regions of the vertebral spine and extremities. The purpose of the adjustment is to correct vertebral subluxations, which can cause alteration of the biomechanical and physiological dynamics of contiguous spinal structures and manifest neuronal disturbances.
Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative powers of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.